Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ben Carson Is A Fool

No.  None of my students wish to sign up for ISIS.

By examining the mistakes we make as a country, we can examine perhaps the most American words in any of our foundational documents: "to make a more perfect Union."

Today, for instance, we discussed the Articles of Confederation government.  We discussed its many flaws, but also what it did well - keeping the idea of republican government alive, settling the northwest territories dispute, being so weak it had to be scrapped rather than amended, heck, winning the war for independence.  But that was balanced by its lack of an executive or courts system, its inability to regulate trade or levy taxes; its lack of being a real government rather than a union of independent states.

We discussed the particular American contribution to world political theory: the idea of a fundamental law that is inviolable and difficult to change to create a bedrock set of rules and norms for government.  The British have no written constitution, no fundamental law.  That's us; we did that.  Almost every country in the world now has a fundamental law.  True, many ignore them, but the very preference for the rule of fundamental law is an American invention.

But we also talked about the problems in amending the Constitution and how that creates a stagnant government that only changes in times of crisis or in a spasm of reform.

In other words, we engaged in the process of historical analysis.

I wouldn't presume to tell Dr. Carson how to operate on a patient.  I would kindly request he stay the fuck out of my classroom.

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